September 09, 2009

Why do you want a 64-bit iTunes?

Prior to today’s Apple announcements, John Gruber wondered aloud on Daring Fireball:

What I’m interested in is more esoteric: is the Mac version [of iTunes] still a 32-bit Carbon app? Common sense says yes, but that’s because common sense says it’s never a good time for a low-level framework rewrite. But the writing is on the wall: the future is 64-bit, and the only path to 64-bit is Cocoa, so eventually, it has to happen.

Let me be really clear: I think Cocoa is great. I think 64-bit is great. (We’re embracing both with Photoshop.) But I’m really, genuinely curious: What specifically do people believe a transition to either is going to add to their software? In the case of iTunes, I have to ask:

  • Do people really have performance problems* with iTunes as it is?
    • I never have. It filters my 3,000-item library as fast as I can type, does a lovely job with HD video, and whips through album art in Cover Flow. I can’t recall others complaining, either.
  • Do they want iTunes to use more than 4GB of RAM?
    • I think we can safely say “No.”
  • Do they complain about the UI (e.g. non-standard scrollbars) and think that Cocoa will make iTunes more “Mac-like”?

So what, then? Let me put it another way: If you were directing the iTunes team’s efforts, why would you–as a customer–tell them to spend their time on Cocoa and/or 64-bit, at the expense of doing other things customers want?

I don’t know why I feel compelled to scratch this itch. See, a smarter, lazier, and/or more cynical product manager than I would simply kick back, shut up, and say, “Photoshop CS-X is 64-bit and based on Cocoa, so you should buy it!” If anyone dared ask how these facts might benefit her, I’d just loudly repeat, “But it’s COCOA! and 64-BIT! So that’s, like, AUTOMATICALLY AWESOME!”

For better or worse, that’s not how I roll. I want people to buy my (and our) work based on real value, not due to lack of information. I suppose I can take some weird solace in the fact that no matter what I say, many people will go on happily believing whatever they want.

So, out of honest curiosity I ask: If you’re pining for iTunes 64, why (specifically)?

*Not, of course, that 64-bit is any kind of panacea.

9:53 PM | Permalink | Comments [89]

“Like asking headphones to clean your ears”

Loving a good rant, I thought I’d pass along this bit from my fellow PM/photographer Bryan O’Neil Hughes. Hughes uses a Canon 5D Mk II and loves good camera tech as much as just about anybody. He does not, however, have much patience for gear-for-gear’s-sake, or for money as a replacement for sweat.

You don’t need an accelerometer to hold your camera level…and if you do, you should find a new hobby. That’s like asking headphones to clean your ears.

The problem isn’t software. It isn’t hardware. It’s the shoot-a-million-images-and-hope-to-hell-it-works-out philosophy that people are taking.

Here’s a snippet (repeated a million times when I used to sell high-end photo gear):

  • Customer: I want to buy a Hasselblad.
  • Me: Sure, we have those… Let me ask you, though: what don’t you like about your current camera?
  • Customer: It isn’t sharp enough.
  • Me: What sort of things do you shoot?
  • Customer: Landscape.
  • Me: Do you shoot from a tripod?
  • Customer: No.
  • Me: Do you own a tripod?
  • Customer: No.
  • Me: Let’s start there.

…And invariably they’d buy the Hassy. People always want to solve their own laziness with gear (often the wrong gear). I see it with photography, cars… man, I even saw it with skateboarding.

My Mk II has a grid overlay… my F3 had that… but honestly, if you need to lean on that to hold the camera straight… you should probably have your inner ear checked.

— BH

[In a related vein: “If You Think You Need This, Kill Yourself“]

7:31 PM | Permalink | Comments [18]

New Adobe TV is live

The new & improved Adobe TV site has just launched. According to the team behind it, “It’s the first website in the world to deploy a video player built with the Adobe Open Source Media Framework (aka Strobe), and one of the first sites built using Adobe ColdFusion 9.”

The site has a new look & feel, new features include:

  • User-customizable homepage
  • Vastly improved navigation & search
  • Support for saving your favorite episodes to “My Library”
  • Support for sharing videos on social networking sites such as Facebook, Digg, and StumbleUpon
  • RSS feeds of your favorite shows
  • Pop-out video player for viewing videos at any size
  • Commenting & Rating
  • Tags

Please give it a whirl & let us know what you think.

1:56 PM | Permalink | Comments [8]
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